First photos of newly-formed island near Tonga emerge
The world got its first glimpse at the newest island in the South Pacific this week.
Photographer and hotelier GP Orbassano, who lives on the island of Tonga, took a trip to the newly-formed island with a couple fellow Tongan locals earlier this month and uploaded a series of beautiful photos to Facebook.
About 65 kilometers off the coast of the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa, Orbassano believes he and his fellow adventurers were the first to visit the island, according to the Telegraph.
His pictures show the dark rocky surface of the still-nameless island formed in January by a volcanic eruption. One scientist told the Associated Press that the volatile new creation could disappear.
But Orbassano insisted the new formation seemed sturdy to him and his friends.
"It's really quite solid once you are on it and it's quite high," he said, according to the BBC.
"It felt quite safe - the only difficult thing was getting out of the boat on to the island. The surface was hot, you could feel it. And climbing it was hard in the bright sun."
See footage of one of the early eruptions that created the island: